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The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations

34 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2000  

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies; Harvard University; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Date Written: May 1994

Abstract

This paper contrasts International Social Science Programme (ISSP) surveys for Hungary, supplemented with related survey data for East Germany, Poland, and Slovenia, with ISSP data for Western countries, to examine the extent to which workers in traditionally communist societies differ in their attitudes toward work conditions, wage inequality, the role of unions and the role of the state in determining labor market outcomes. We find sufficiently marked differences in responses between Hungary and the other previously communist countries and in Western countries to suggest that communism left an identifiable common legacy in the labor area. The citizens of former communist countries evince a greater desire for egalitarianism, are less satisfied with their jobs, and are more supportive of state interventions in the job market and economy than Westerners. These differences suggest that the move to a market economy will be marked by considerable 'social schizophrenia' due to an attitudinal legacy of their communist past.

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G. and Freeman, Richard B., The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations (May 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4740. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=232054

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

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Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies ( email )

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Harvard University ( email )

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